Saturday, April 25, 2015

Slow Cooker Arroz Caldo

My slow cooker version of arroz caldo.

Arroz Caldo is one of the favorite savory dishes that are served during merienda or snack time in the Philippines. You can find it being served in the neighborhood carinderias (eateries) all over the Philippines as well as those breakfast buffets at the luxurious hotels in Manila and even Hongkong where they have their version called Congee. 

In this the Filipino version of the Chinese Congee, uncooked rice is mixed and sauteed with chicken or tripe, garlic, onions and ginger before water is added to make a thick soup. The rich aromatic soup is then garnished with green onions, fried garlic and sometimes hard boiled egg. It is usually eaten with tokwa't baboy as a side which is made of fried firm tofu and boiled pork belly or cheeks and jowls. These sides in turn are drizzled with a dipping sauce made of a blend of soy sauce, more garlic, red onions and calamansi (type of citrus).

When our Class '65 went to Tuguegarao on the generous invitation of Myrna (Ibaviosa) and Bob Guzman of the beautiful Las Palmas Hotel, Tuguegarao, they included in the itinerary a visit to the fabulous house of Bob's brother Ron and wife Vilma.  Arroz Caldo done the traditional and with all the sides were served during the sumptuous merienda.  (see photos below)

 Arroz Caldo served at Vilma's party.

Tokwa't Baboy at Vilma's party

The dipping or drizzling sauce served at Vilma's party. 

I am giving you the recipe of arroz caldo cooked in the slow cooker. I find this method to be convenient when I do not have time to watch the boiling process involved in preparing the rice porridge for example on days I am typing my blog post such as this or I have to leave to run errands. Plus there is nothing like having a warm cup of thick soup or stoup (as Rachael Ray calls something which is a cross between a soup and a stew) ready when you get home.   I am grateful most slow cookers nowadays immediately switch to the Keep Warm mode at the end of cooking.  

I based the recipe on the one found in Panlasang Pinoy that was done in the traditional way. I increased the amount of water of the recipe in this popular site since the recipe as is came out really sticky when followed in the slow cooker. This modified version of the recipe has just the right texture.

Slow Cooker Arroz Caldo

(Adapted from the Panlasang Pinoy)


  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 2 knobs ginger, julienned
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs chicken, cut into serving size (I used two chicken quarters.  See note 1).
  • 1 1/2 cup rice, uncooked
  • 2 tbsps fish sauce
  • 7 cups water 
  • 1 cup scallions (green onions), minced
  • 1 piece lemon or 4 pieces calamansi


  1. In a large pan, heat the cooking oil then saute the garlic, onion, and ginger. If your slow cooker has a saute mode you can use it for this and the following sauteing steps.
  2. Add the black pepper and salt.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and brown it.
  4. Add the fish sauce and uncooked rice then mix and cook for a few minutes.
  5. If you are using a pot for the sauteing process, transfer the sauteed mixture into a slow cooker and add the water and cook it at low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. I used an Aroma brand rice cooker/slow cooker at the slow cooker mode and cooked it for 3 hours after adding the water.
  6. Serve hot with more sauteed garlic, minced green onions and lemon.
  1. You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a healthier version.  However, since these are boneless I would use chicken broth instead of water.
  2. The heart and soul of this dish is the sauteed ginger, garlic and onions.  You cannot skip the sauteing step of these three, however, you can skip sauteing the chicken and rice,  One time I slow cooked the chicken and rice in water without sauteing them first  and then added the sauteed ginger, garlic and onions later when I came home since I did not have time to do so at the beginning.  It was just as good.
  3. I have seen recipes where they used cooked rice and others using cooked chicken.  Though I have not tried neither of this approach, I think it will work as long as the soul of the dish namely, the sauteed ginger, garlic and onions are added. 


  1. Ate, how big ba 'yong slow cooker niyo po na ginamit niyo for this recipe? I have a slow cooker with the sauté mode, but it's 6.5 quarts ang size nito. So I'm not sure if I have to adjust the recipe for how big my slow cooker is? Please advice! Maraming salamat in advance po.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I used a slow cooker with a volume of a little bit more than five quarts. Thanks

  2. Hello po,
    If I use boneless chicken how much Chicken Broth should I use? Should I also add water as well to make it more soupy and not too salty?


    1. If you are using chicken broth in a box then substitute for the water in recipe. Skip the salt and decrease the patis.

      If using bouillon cubes, use same amount of water. Use two to three cubes. Lessen the patis and skip the salt.

      Hope this helps. Keep in touch.